What is an ADSL speed test?

An ADSL speed test is a speed test performed to check the quality and download speed of a connection. The ADSL speed test is a way to verify that the speed of the user’s connection matches the connection speeds promised by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). The ADSL speed test works by checking the ‘ping’ and the download and upload bandwidth speed of your connection.

What do the these terms mean?

The ‘ping’ speed is the first speed that the ADSL speed test checks before moving on to checking the download and upload speed. The ‘ping’ refers to the reaction of the connection or how quickly a response occurs. The ‘ping’ should take milliseconds to occur. ‘Ping’ times vary depending on the distance between the user and the server which is being ‘pinged’. A ‘ping’ could vary in time between 50ms to 300ms on average.
Download Speed
The download speed is the second speed tested by the ADSL speed test. The download speed refers to how quickly data can be transferred from the server to the user. Download speed is designed to be higher than upload speed due to the fact that most common activity such as browsing or streaming is made up almost entirely of downloading.

Upload Speed

The upload speed is the final speed tested by the ADSL speed test. The upload speed refers to the speed with which the user’s device can transfer data to the server. This speed is designed to be lower than download speed because it is not as often in use by the average user and when it is in use, the volumes of data are smaller than those which exist when downloading. Both upload and download speed are measured in Mbps which are megabits per second.
Why is my speed slow?

In some instances, an Internet Service Provider may promise certain speeds and not deliver them to the customer. In these cases, the only way to perform a check is to use an ADSL speed test. However, slow speeds can be caused by other factors.It is beneficial to perform ADSL speed tests regularly not only to ensure that your ISP is providing you with the speeds you have paid for but also to ensure that all equipment is functional. Most users perform these ADSL speed tests when they believe a connection has slowed down and they are experiencing speeds lower that what they had in the past and find that the problem is either due to the ISP or due to the fact that their equipment has worn down and needs replacing.
How often should I perform an ADSL speed test?

An ADSL speed test should be performed regularly to check that speeds are fairly constant and that your router is working correctly as some users do not perform highly taxing tasks and would not notice the speed of their connection slowing down until they required their device to perform a task which resulted in a high volume of uploading or downloading such as backing up a hard drive to online storage or streaming media.